Lose weight at leisure

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 20:41 hrs

If you think running on the treadmill is a bore, then recreational sports could just be your fun ticket to fitness. Here are some games that will help you lose that extra flab.

Bowling, after an indifferent start in the mid-’90s, is back as a fitness sport rather than a form of recreation. At present, there are over 350 bowling alleys in India — up from about 200 two years ago. If taken seriously, bowling can be like working out in a gym since it involves simultaneous pulling and pushing, and that too with a heavy weight. The warm-up exercises can help burn up to 200 calories in 10 minutes, and you can burn 160 to 180 calories in an hour’s game. Bowling tones various muscles, trims the waistline and increases body strength. While it isn’t advisable for those with knee problems, the “slide and bowl” technique is the ideal posture.

Twirling the ring around your waist is a great way to improve your flexibility and lose belly fat. Ten minutes of hula-hooping can make you lose over 100 calories. It even helps tone the back muscles and develop motor skills. Pop sensation Beyoncé Knowles and Michelle Obama swear by the hoop to stay fit. Hula hoops are not easy to find in India, but you can always order one online. (Gujral Industries in Meerut manufactures them too.) A hoop consists of a firm, heavy rubber pipe, which may have a cloth covering. The standard diametre is around 33 inches, so you can even ask your local handyman to get one made for you. You will not be able to spin the hoop immediately. It will take practice. But you don’t require classes — check YouTube, which has videos to guide you.

Made popular by surfers in California, skateboarding is slowly finding its way into India. It may be tough to find skateboarding clubs since the action-packed sport is still at a nascent stage. However, there are a number of groups in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore that provide classes and promote skateboarding. Balancing yourself on the skateboard requires considerable skill and dexterity but the fitness benefits will make it worth your while. You can burn around 250 calories in an hour depending on your skating skills. Riding the board is a great cardio exercise, especially if you’re doing it uphill. Of course, adding tricks to your skateboarding routine can add heft to your work-out session.

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